For most homeowners, installing a metal carport is an easy way to add value to your property while placing an extra layer of protection around your vehicles. But despite having a relatively simple installation process, many D.I.Y. builders struggle with the site prep for metal building projects.

So, whether you’re looking to create an RV cover or a secure parking area, our team of expert site preparation specialists is here to help. This article will walk you through 5 simple steps you can follow to accomplish your site prep for metal building installation, as well as answer any lingering questions you may have about your finalized metal garage.

Here’s how to get started…

Step 1: Check Your Local Building Permits

First, it’s important to make sure that your building site is compliant with local regulations. Depending on whether the property you’re installing a metal carport on is commercial or residential, there may be guidelines you need to follow throughout the installation process.

For more information on local building codes in your area, you can contact your county’s inspection department or department of zoning and permits.

Step 2: Gather Your Site Preparation Tools

Next, you’ll need to take an inventory of the tools needed to prep your site for metal carport installation. If this is your first construction project, you might need to invest in purchasing high-quality tools to help you get the job done.

Thankfully, none of the tools needed for this project are overly complicated or expensive. So, you should be able to gather your supplies fairly quickly.

The most important building site tools you’ll need are…

  • Construction leveler
  • Durable shovel
  • Steel tamper
  • Raw concrete mix
  • Concrete mixing supplies
  • Your choice of foundation bed

Step 3: Level Your Building Site

Once you have your tools ready, you can start your site prep for metal building installation. And regardless of whether you plan on using a concrete slab, asphalt foundation, or some other base material, creating a level building site is essential.

To do this, you’ll need to thoroughly remove any debris that could get in the way of your project. This includes limbs, roots, and other natural elements. With those cleared out of the way, you can stake out the four corners of your metal building site.

Then, using your construction leveler and a shovel, you can begin to even out any high or low areas until you have a smooth surface.

Step 4: Create A Compact Soil Foundation

In most cases, the bare ground will not provide a solid enough foundation for a steel building. That’s why you must compact your soil foundation as much as possible, allowing you to create a completely even building site.

Using your steel tamper, firmly press the soil throughout your carport space down until there’s as little loose dirt as possible. This may take several rounds of preparation before your soil is ready to be built on.

Step 5: Choose The Best Foundation Bed For Your Needs

Finally, you’ll need to choose a foundation for your steel structure. Choosing the right foundation bed is essential, since this step is what determines the longevity and durability of your carport.

And while there are many foundation bed options on the market, there are 3 main materials you’ll want to consider for your project.

Concrete Slab

You’ve probably assumed that concrete is the go-to choice for metal building site foundations. And yes, this option does provide major load support for heavy-duty vehicles, which can give you lasting results.

However, there are some drawbacks to using a concrete slab alone as your foundation. For example, concrete does not give you any erosion control. This means that you’ll likely need to repair or replace portions of your foundation as time goes on.

Here are the pros and cons of using a concrete foundation…


  • Strong and durable
  • Heavy load approved
  • Easy to install on your own


  • No permeability, leading to erosion issues
  • Maintenance can be costly and time-consuming
  • Subject to cracking or breaking down over time


Alternatively, you can choose to use geotextile landscaping fabric to create a sustainable foundation for your carport. This finely-punctured material is known for its ability to keep out weeds and other damaging elements, which can greatly reduce your maintenance costs.

Plus, geotextile fabric is affordable and easy to install, making it a great choice for both professional and D.I.Y projects.

Here are the pros and cons of using geotextile fabric…


  • Provides permeability for erosion control
  • Stops weeds from damaging your foundation
  • Can be used alongside other foundation materials
  • Simple installation process and low-maintenance costs


  • May require additional load support for large vehicles

GeoCell Bases

Another excellent option for every type of building site is BaseCore GeoCell panels. These unique honeycomb-shaped panels provide ultra-strong load support for large vehicles, as well as industry-leading erosion control using a natural filtration system that moves water away from your carport.

Most importantly, GeoCell bases can be used with a wide variety of infill materials, so you can completely customize your finished project.

Here are the pros and cons of using BaseCore GeoCell panels…


  • Heavy-duty load support
  • Built-in erosion control
  • Durable interlocking design
  • Slope protection
  • Helps keep out weeds and other elements
  • Simple installation process and low-maintenance costs
  • Can be used with dirt, gravel, or concrete infill material


  • Panels may need to be trimmed to meet your space requirements

Ready To Start Preparing For Your Carport?

We know that installing a metal carport on your property is a great way to create extra storage space for your vehicles while adding even more value to your home.

That’s why Backyard Bases specializes in providing high-quality site prep materials for your metal building site, including preventative Geotextile fabric and ultra-durable BaseCore GeoCell panels that give you lasting support, with no costly maintenance required.

Learn more about how our customer service team can help you streamline your carport project today.